When I completed the 600K in October I accomplished my goal for this year: to complete a Super Randonneur series. I am hoping to get back into as good as shape as I was in 2007. That year I did a SR series as well as doing a century every calendar month. I decided to do that again. I had decided to try for an R-12 award. This means I must do a 200K (or longer) brevet or permanent every month for 12 months.
Fortunately for me Miles had a 200K brevet scheduled for October. I decided to do this ride as the second month for the R-12. Miles had suggested that everyone ride together and enjoy ourselves. The ride started at 6:30 am on Saturday. Due to poor planning on my part I showed up right at 6:30. The other riders (Miles, Ben, and Roger) waited for me to get ready and we rolled out at about 6:40.
It was a little chilly at the start. There was still frost on the grass in the shade. We stayed together and average about 15 mph. I would have liked to go a little faster to warm up but it was nice riding in a group.
The first control was at 30 miles. We may have spent more time than necessary here but everyone was feeling good. The next control was in Harrisburg at 59 miles. We rode a short distance on the Tunnel Hill trail. While we were on it we were interview by someone for the Rails to Trail Conservancy. At this point it had warmed up so I took off my tights and jacket. You could not ask for better weather for a November ride.
The next control was in Marion at 80 miles. The only hilly section of the ride occurred just before this. This spread us out. Ben, who was on a fixed gear, was in front. I was next, followed by Roger and then Miles. Miles was not feeling his best and was worried about slowing us down. He left Marion quickly to gain some distance and to hopefully allow us all to finish together.
The section leaving Marion had the most turns of the entire route. There was a 12 mile section with 19 turns. In comparison the previous 21 miles had 4 turns. I surprised myself by taking the lead and handling the navigation during part of the section. Usually I'm lazy and let others handle the navigation.
We caught up to Miles when we reached Christopher. He left shortly after we arrived. Roger left while Ben and I were eating pizza. Leaving Christoper, there were 16 miles before the next turn. I set the pace at about 16 mph. I wanted to catch up to Miles and Roger so that we could all finished together. I kept an eye on Ben behind me to make sure that he wasn't dropping back. I needn't have worried. Ben kept right up with me. We caught up to Roger and Miles at about 11 miles from the finished. We all traveled together and finished in 10:57. We ate together before heading for home.
I felt strong the entire ride. I think that going slower in the early part of the ride kept me from burning myself out. It was also fun to finish the ride with some great people.